In any accident with a truck or car, a person walking beside the road or crossing an intersection on foot is susceptible to serious injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that pedestrians account for nearly 16 percent of all traffic deaths annually, translating into thousands of pedestrian deaths each year.
The following are some suggestions for avoiding a pedestrian accident in Virginia.
Tips for Motorists
When behind the wheel, you should be mindful of the following to avoid a pedestrian accident:
Reduce Speed in Pedestrian Areas
If you slow down when you see pedestrians, it can give you extra response time. The movement of pedestrians can be hard to predict, and even a nanosecond can make a huge difference when avoiding a collision with a pedestrian. Reducing your speed can provide you with extra time to see and respond to pedestrians on the road.
Exercise Patience with Seniors and Individuals with Physical Challenges
An older person may require extra time to navigate the street, and they may find it difficult to see you. A visually impaired person might also need more time and care. In the case of a blind person, it may be challenging for them to hear an oncoming electric car. It is best to provide extra distance and exercise patience to help those with special circumstances remain safe on the roads.
Make Eye Contact
It is helpful for pedestrians to know that you have seen them before they cross the road. By trying to make eye contact with pedestrians, you can communicate with each other regarding who is going where on the street. By making eye contact with each other, you can have clarity and avoid confusion that can potentially result in a devastating collision.
Observe School Crossing Signs and School Bus Rules
There are special rules for motorists in school zones or near school buses as children do not always look both ways or avoid stepping onto a busy street. It is important to follow a command given by a school crossing guard. Similarly, it can be challenging to see around school buses, and you should never disregard a school bus stop sign.
Do Not make Assumptions if the Vehicle Ahead of you Stops
If the car ahead of you halts suddenly, it can be tempting to maneuver and quickly drive around them. This can be a deadly mistake as there might be a pedestrian in front of the first car.
Tips for Pedestrians
Pedestrians can also take extra measures to prevent an accident. Some precautionary steps that pedestrians can take to avoid accidents are:
Walk Facing Oncoming Traffic
In case there is no sidewalk, and you must walk on the roadside, choose the side where you face oncoming traffic. Walking on the opposite side of the traffic allows pedestrians the best chance to view vehicles approaching closest to them and take evasive action when necessary.
Before crossing any street, it is vital to look both ways. When at controlled intersections, it is best to cross only when the pedestrian crossing light indicates it safe to do so. Even then, motorists and bike riders may have a green signal to turn and will not expect you to be in the intersection. Despite obeying traffic rules and signals, it is important to remember that drivers and cyclists may not see you. Always remain conscious of your surroundings when crossing any street.
Ensure you are Visible
Pedestrians should wear bright-colored clothing in the daytime. If walking at night, it is best to wear light-colored clothes and reflective clothing or a reflective vest to be visible. Motorists are usually not expecting walkers to be out during nighttime. You need to offer them every opportunity to see you, even at street intersections with crossing signals.
Hang Up and Eyes Up
It is as dangerous to engage in distracted walking due to texting, speaking on the phone, or playing games such as Pokemon Go as it is to perform these activities while operating a vehicle. A distracted person is not as aware of their surroundings. Therefore, they are less likely to recognize traffic hazards, tripping dangers, or passing bikers and motorists.
Remain in the Safe Zones
It is safest to walk on sidewalks. But there are several areas without sidewalks and staying out of the roadway is an important thumb rule for pedestrians. However, it is not always possible, making it crucial for pedestrians to be mindful of their environment and watch out for motorists who may not see them. Furthermore, it is ill-advised to dart across the road from between vehicles.
Contact an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Virginia
It can be traumatic to be involved in a pedestrian accident. The seasoned attorneys at Olmstead and Olmstead fight hard to ensure that accident victims collect the fair compensation that they deserve, including damages for medical bills and lost wages. Our lawyers will work tirelessly on your behalf, allowing you to focus on your recovery. For a no-obligation consultation, call today at (703) 361-1555.